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Former NFL RB Chuck Muncie Passes Away at Age 60

George Rose/Getty Images
George Rose/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2013

Chuck Muncie, a former running back for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, has died after suffering a heart attack.

From ESPN:

Former NFL running back Chuck Muncie has died of a heart attack at the age of 60, the New Orleans Saints confirmed Tuesday to multiple media outlets.

Muncie, who also played for the San Diego Chargers, was a three-time Pro Bowler who rushed for 6,702 yards and 71 touchdowns in 110 career games.

Muncie was an excellent college running back at Cal and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1975. The Saints drafted him with the third overall pick in 1976, and he spent four full seasons in New Orleans before being traded to the Chargers in 1980 after requesting a trade following the 1979 season.

While in New Orleans, he rushed for 3,393 yards and 28 touchdowns.  

However, his career really took off in San Diego. He had his best season in 1981, rushing for 1,144 yards and 19 touchdowns, which led the NFL. During his time in San Diego, he rushed for 3,309 yards and 43 touchdowns, and he helped lead the Chargers to two AFC championship games and three trips to the playoffs.

Muncie's career came to an end in 1984 after the first week of the season, as the NFL suspended him for a year after he tested positive for cocaine. He attempted a brief comeback in the 1985 season with the Minnesota Vikings but would never play a game, eventually retiring due to personal reasons

In 1989, he was arrested for selling cocaine and spent 18 months in prison, but he turned his own struggles with drug use into the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, which mentored Southern California kids and attempted to keep them off the street. 

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk summarized Muncie's life rather succinctly:

It may have been a bumpy ride at times for Muncie, but it was one he certainly straightened out in the end. 

 

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